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Viet Thanh Nguyen escaped Saigon with his family in 1975, arriving in the U.S. when he was four years old. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Voices from Vietnam

April 14, 2015

It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a South Vietnamese army general is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of…

Assistant Professor of Psychology Henrike Moll, director of USC Dornsife’s Minds in Development Lab. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Understanding Suspense

April 9, 2015

Here’s a psychology experiment you can try at home: Watch a Hitchcock film with someone and observe how they respond as the story unfolds. Hitchcock’s plots are like the Swiss watches of suspense, designed to…

USC researchers have discovered that a rat’s brain has local area networks of neurons. Illustration by Holly Wilder.

Internet-like Networks Revealed

April 7, 2015

Researchers sketching out a wiring diagram for rat brains — a field known as “connectomics” — have discovered that its structure is organized like the Internet.

 For years, scientists looking for…

Professor of Biological Sciences John Tower. Photo by Max Gerber.

New Finding May Compromise Aging Studies

April 7, 2015

Some studies on the genetic roots of aging will need a second look after the discovery that a common lab chemical can extend the life span of female fruit flies by 68 percent. For years, scientists have engineered fruit flies…

Remo Rohs, assistant professor of biological sciences, chemistry, physics and computer science, is a corresponding author of two recent papers published in <em>Cell</em> and <em>PNAS</em>. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Patterns and Shapes

April 2, 2015

Remo Rohs is looking for some deep connections. He is integrating genomics and structural biology to uncover some significant insights into how proteins recognize DNA. While genomics deciphers DNA by studying the sequences of…

Donal Manahan and his research group have created a more accurate picture of how the metabolism of a sea urchin changes under environmental stress.

Hidden Costs

March 30, 2015

Scientists have found a way to measure the unseen toll that environmental stress places on living creatures — showing that they can rev up their metabolism to work more than twice as hard as normal to cope with…

Artist's rendering of an exploding Buckyball. USC/Holly Wilder.

Bucky-Balls Become Buckybombs

March 27, 2015

1996, a trio of scientists won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discovery of Buckminsterfullerene — soccer-ball-shaped spheres of 60 joined carbon atoms that exhibit special physical properties. Now, 20 years…

Shopping while hungry may lead you to spend more than 60 percent more and buy more non-food items than less hungry customers, research by Norbert Schwarz indicates.

Binder Clip, Anyone?

March 26, 2015

It’s almost lunchtime. You are hungry, but decide to stop at an office supply store before eating to pick up a few items. New research by USC Dornsife’s Norbert Schwarz, Provost Professor of Psychology and…

Alumnus and lecturer Brandon Som’s prizewinning first book of poems, <em>The Tribute Horse</em>, examines questions of identity and language. Photo by Jason Bacasa.

Som Wins Poetry Prize

March 12, 2015

Etched into the wooden walls of the former immigration station on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, the poems tell of the hopes and fears of the Chinese immigrants once detained and interrogated there — sometimes for…

Daphna Oyserman, Dean’s Professor of Psychology at USC Dornsife and co-director of the USC Dornsife Mind and Society Center. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

When I Grow Up, I Will Be...

March 4, 2015

Devil’s Night in Detroit, the eve before Halloween when youths traditionally tear up the town, got Daphna Oyserman thinking. Oyserman had just arrived in nearby Ann Arbor for her doctoral studies at the University of…